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I sailed with Rasmussen

Freuchen, Peter

Published by Julian Messner, Inc, New York, 1958
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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224 p. 22 cm. Illustrations. Map. Translation of Knud Rasmussen som jeg husker ham. Freuchen's own story of the great explorer. Rasmussen asked him to become his partner in establishing a trading station among the Polar Eskimos in the extreme North of Greenland. Rasmussen was part Eskimo through his maternal grandmother. From Wikipedia: "Peter Freuchen, born Lorenz Peter Elfred Freuchen (February 2, 1886-September 2, 1957) was a Danish explorer, author, journalist and anthropologist. In 1910, Knud Rasmussen and Peter Freuchen established the Thule Trading Station at Cape York (Uummannaq), Greenland, as a trading base. The name Thule was chosen because it was the most northerly trading post in the world, literally the "Ultima Thule". [6] Thule Trading Station became the home base for a series of seven expeditions, known as the Thule Expeditions, between 1912 and 1933. The First Thule Expedition (1912, Rasmussen and Freuchen) aimed to test Robert Peary's claim that a channel divided Peary Land from Greenland. They proved this was not the case in a remarkable 1, 000 km (620 mi) journey across the inland ice that almost killed them. Clements Markham, president of the Royal Geographical Society, called the journey the "finest ever performed by dogs." Freuchen wrote personal accounts of this journey (and others) in 'Vagrant Viking' (1953) and 'I Sailed with Rasmussen' (1958). He states in 'Vagrant Viking' that only one other dogsled trip across Greenland was ever successful. While in Denmark Freuchen and Rasmussen held a series of lectures about their expeditions and the Inuit culture. Freuchen's first wife, Mekupaluk, who took the name Navarana, followed him on several expeditions. When she died he wanted her buried in the old church graveyard in Upernavik. The church refused to perform the burial, because Navarana was not baptized, so Freuchen buried her himself. Knud Rasmussen later used the name Navarana for the lead role in the movie "Palos Brudefærd" which was filmed in East Greenland in 1933. Freuchen strongly criticized the Christian church which sent missionaries among the Inuit without understanding their culture and traditions. When Freuchen returned to Denmark in the 1920s he joined the Social Democrats and contributed with articles in the newspaper Politiken. He was also the leader of a movie company. In 1932 Freuchen returned to Greenland. This time the expedition was financed by the American Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film-studios. He was also employed by the film industry as a consultant and scriptwriter, specializing in Arctic-related scripts. Most notably MGM's Oscar winning Eskimo/Mala The Magnificent starring Ray Mala. In 1956, he won $64, 000 on The $64, 000 Question, an American TV quiz-show on the subject "The Seven Seas". In 1938 he founded The Adventurer's Club (Eventyrernes Klub in Danish), which still exists. They later honoured his memory by planting an oak tree and creating an Eskimo cairn near the place, where he left Denmark for Greenland in 1906. (It is situated east of Langeliniebroen in central Copenhagen and not far from the statue of The Little Mermaid). During World War II, Freuchen was actively involved with the Danish resistance movement against the Germans, despite having lost a leg to frostbite in 1926. He was imprisoned by the Germans, and was sentenced to death, but he managed to escape and flee to Sweden. He later moved to the USA. As he related in 'Vagrant Viking', he was friends with the royal families of Scandinavia and other countries, and his movie work in New York and Hollywood brought him into the 'royalty' of moving pictures and the political world of Washington, D.C. He was truly an adventurer of the first order. The preface of his last work, Book of the Seven Seas, is dated August 30, 1957, in Noank. He died of a heart attack three days later in Elmendorf, Alaska. After his death, his ashes were scattered on the famous table-shaped Thule Mountain near the USAF base. Good. No dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 66596

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Bibliographic Details

Title: I sailed with Rasmussen

Publisher: Julian Messner, Inc, New York

Publication Date: 1958

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: Presumed first edition/first printing.

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